With more than a million people expected to descend on London to attend the Queen’s Diamond Jubilee celebrations, some of the capital’s newest infrastructure improvements will be put through their paces ahead of the London 2012 Olympic and Paralympic Games.

In addition to the work carried out to directly support events at the Games, a number of improvements have been made to some of London’s public spaces and those transport systems which are expected to draw a large proportion of the 5.9 million visitors expected over the summer.

Atkins has worked on a number of these projects:

  • We were part of the team involved in the upgrade of the North London Line (NLL). The scheme overhauled the line’s track, stations, signals and communication systems to increase capacity, comfort and reliability. The NLL will help transport up to 500,000 people a day to London 2012 venues
  • We provided design and programme management, technical support and risk analysis throughout all phases of the Docklands Light Railway (DLR) Three-Car Capacity Enhancement Project to increase capacity by 50% as well as lengthen platforms at over 20 stations. The DLR will act as a key transport artery during the London 2012 Games, serving competition venues including the Olympic Park, ExCeL Exhibition Centre, Greenwich Park and the Royal Artillery Barracks
  • The innovative makeover we designed for Oxford Circus in central London allows pedestrians to walk safely across the intersection in all directions for the first time. Oxford Circus is one of the world’s most congested intersections, with more than 80 million pedestrians crossing it each year
  • We developed the concept for the radical overhaul of London’s Piccadilly Circus and its surrounding streets, including the return of two-way traffic for the first time since the 1960s. Restoring two-way traffic has opened up a key gateway to St James’s Park, the Mall and Horse Guards Parade, which will host the beach volleyball event
  • Atkins developed an aviation strategy which will enable the safe arrival of 150 international heads of state for the Queen’s Diamond Jubilee and the Olympic Games during London’s peak tourist season

Chris Greenwood, director in Atkins’ highways and transportation division, said: "Major events in 2012, such as the Games and Diamond Jubilee celebrations, have been a catalyst for big improvements to the capital’s infrastructure. These projects are an important part of the legacy, and will bring long-term benefits for a wider group of people who live, work or visit London but were not able to attend official celebrations this summer.

"For example, Oxford Circus is a major draw for visitors to London and is used by tens of millions of pedestrians each year. As a key Underground station in the centre of the West End and route to and from Stratford on the Central Line, the redesign by Atkins has created more space, reduced congestion and provided a safer crossing, all of which will help retain London’s standing as one of the most popular cities in the world."